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Let's Rock!


Full Band
Full Band
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It is that time of the year again, time for Activision's next big release of one of their biggest franchises; Guitar Hero. Forgoing another confusingly named entry in the series; they have decided to go with the much easier to remember Guitar Hero 5 as the official title, while technically never having a '4' between this new entry and Neversoft's first foray into the rhythm game space. This time of the year also means a massive PR push, which somehow now includes ScoreHero, not that I'm complaining.

We enjoyed some serious hands-on time with a final build of the game and are here to drop the info that you, ScoreHero, really cares about. Sure sure, we'll still talk about how good the game looks and how fun some of the songs are, but we'll also talk about things that just make the rhythm game mortals shake their heads with the new "Barfo Sez" feature. Anytime you see a "Barfo Sez" feature, expect to get more information about how this game ticks than you could possibly care about and more typos than you can possibly count.


Party On!


Party On!
Party On!
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Activision obviously has certain aspects of Guitar Hero 5 that they want to tout the most and our play time was catered accordingly. "Party Play" is one such marquee feature; the basic premise of which is that anyone can jump in and start playing at any time during the song, even going as far as being able to change difficulty on the fly. The name certainly is accurate, any self-respecting ScoreHero member who is grinding for squeezes won't be playing this mode unless they happen to be at the center of a party, score isn't tracked at all as this mode is strictly for jump in and play action. Party Play is certainly good at what it aims to do, walking up and seeing a drummer playing a fun song, I was able to sit down at the drum kit next to him and join right in without having to interrupt his playing at all. The first song was fairly simple so I set it up to expert and played along just fine, then a difficult song came on that proved too painful for me so I dialed the difficulty down accordingly. All easy and painless, you just have to hit your start button to bring up a menu that will let you change the difficulty level, drop out or change the song without pausing the action for everyone else. Really the only small annoyance that comes with Party Play is the minor disruption that comes with someone joining the game, the fretboards move, re-size and slide around accordingly to fit the new note highway in. It is a little disorienting, but this is Party Play after all and you don't have to worry about failing or scores so it really doesn't matter in the end.


Rockfest!?


Perfectionist
Perfectionist
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Another big feature being discussed are the "RockFest" (their word, not mine) modes. There are a dozen or so of these different gameplay options that really add some legs to the old fashioned Pro Face-Off we're all used to. Most of these modes play like Pro Face-Off but with an added twist, so you almost always have to play against the same instruments and they are all competitive. We played "Perfectionist" the most, the gist of which is; you are graded on how many notes hit during each section (sections in RockFest are generally longer than practice mode sections) and given points from 1 to 4 based on how well you did compared to everyone else, the person with the most points at the end of the song wins. There is no star power to worry about and streak doesn't matter, you just need to make sure you hit the most notes. Players that hit the same amount of notes (say they all hit 100%) will all get the same amount of points, which means that if players each FC the song, then they will tie the match.

Momentum
Momentum
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We also tried out "Momentum", where the difficulty of the song changes based on how well you are doing; keep a streak going and you'll be playing on the expert chart, miss a handful of notes and you'll drop down in difficulty. This matters of course since the player with the highest score at the end wins and obviously the player on expert has more notes, and more points, to earn than the player who can't get above medium. Skill definitely takes precedence in this mode as we saw a skilled player more than double the 2nd place player's score in this mode. "Momentum" really shines on the harder songs and when all players are at a similar skill level, it is pretty enjoyable to watch the difficulty change back and forth and keeping up with it can be a challenge. "Elimination" is another fun mode as long as all players are similar in skill, the mode plays like standard Pro Face-Off with the twist that at pre-determined sections of the song, the person with the lowest score is dropped from the game. From the modes we tried out, it looks like a lot of the added modes will be a welcome addition to the standard Pro Face-Off competitive mode, certainly none can be any worse than Guitar Hero 3's Battle Mode (which looks to be absent from the game altogether, at least we didn't see it).

Barfo Sez... Rockfestsize>

I only played a few competitive rounds, and i watched a few others but here are my quick impressions on the various game modes. The one that was the most fun to watch was definitely momentum, because (on a hard song) there is a lot of action, as people are dropping down and up difficulties, and because one player difficulties in a hard section for screwing up, that means that as a spectator you get a sort of 'ohh, ahh' moment as the player who is still on expert has a chance to catch up by hitting more notes.

Perfectionist is also interesting to play (and the one most conducive to an upset), the song is divided into sections (each seciton is divided by a orange measure-like line, as well as having a countdown in the upper right corner telling you how far away the end of the section is), and the person who gets the best percentage of notes hit gets 4 points, second place is 3 points, third = 2, last = 1 (not certain on those points, and i have no idea how it gives away points if you have only 2 or 3 people playing). This can promote some upsets compared to pure skill, because say i am way way worse in the two solo sections of a song than the person i am playing against, i will be down effectively two sections' points from that, however if say i am very consistent in the rest of hte song, and say my opponent happens to miss one note each in two regular note sections that i FC, now the round is essentially tied as from my opponent missing two sections relative to me i have gained back the points i lost in the solo sections. Compared to PFO, i am doubly well off, not only did it abstract my much worse percentage in those two solo sectoins (say i got 60% and my opponent got 90%) as being of equal value to when i got 100% and my opponent got 99% twice, but in a pure points system, it is likely that it is abstracting over the fact that i missed much more points in teh solo section, just because those sections may be worth a lot more than the main line sections in a relativ sense.

Elimination as far as i can tell is a sort of 'hardcore mode' version of PFO. The gameplays is exactly the same (as PFO) but what it does is that a third of the way through the song (I believe there is a countdown and a orange line like for hte other songs with sections) the last place player is out and has to stop playing. Two-thirds of the way through the song the last place player is again kicked out, leaving only the top two, to duke it out until the end of the song, highest score winning. So really the only difference from PFO is that some of the players wont get to play the full song, which if your group is just casually playign for fun might not be a good thing, but it you are ultra-competitive and playing for bragging rights, or to have a built in audience of your less skilled and first eliminated friends automatically forced to watch your epic two player duel in the last third of the song. One last note, we did not get a chance to see how xbox live will work with these modes (specifically the matchmaking quality), however one thing to consider is that for momentum mode at least, because that always starts everybody on medium, and does not really have any selectable difficulty, the common online problem of previous games of getting matched up versus easy or medium players and losing due to score normalization couldn't exist.
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Songs to Rock!


Setlist Shot
Setlist Shot
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The setlist is obviously the major "make or break" factor for many rhythm game fans and, thankfully, the entire setlist has already been announced. Really the quality of the setlist is purely subjective, so I'm not going to spend any time discussing the merits of this particular list, I will talk about a few of the songs I enjoyed though. Before we get to that, lets talk about the massive list you scroll through to even get to your songs. With the bare bones 85 songs that ships with the game, scrolling through the list isn't really a hassle, but when you go ahead and import the songs from Guitar Hero World Tour and the other games, the list gets into the hundreds and does become quite daunting. Thankfully, we don't have to deal with the horrible quickplay setlist as seen in World Tour and Guitar Hero Metallica, Neversoft completely revamped it and addressed a lot of the complaints with the other games. It is still just a big list, but it resembles Rock Band's approach a lot more now, focusing on the information needed without cluttering everything up with nonsense icons. Neversoft also added a ton of new sorting options that actually make sense and seem to work correctly, you can now sort by; Alphabetical, Artist, Song Name, Guitar Intensity, Bass Intensity, Drums Intensity, Vocals Intensity, Song Length and likely a few more that I'm forgetting. I really enjoyed being able to quickly find the hardest song for each instrument, it really cut down on a lot of the guess work.

Barfo Sez... Playlistssize>

It cannot be stressed enough how much i enjoyed the new sorting options. Note htat you can sort on difficulty even for the instrument you are not on, so you can be on drums but sort and easily find the hardest vocals song to add ot your playlist if for some reason you want to. I played on one station that had tons of DLC and expotable content loaded onto it (265 songs!) and the list itself was somewhat unwieldy, so being able to sort it was important. In addition you can fairly easily page down, though the list lacks the sort of auto indexing funcitons of the RB2 list. Overall though in terms of presentation, ease of use, and just 'feel' the playlist display is lightyears ahead of world tour.

In quickplay you have greatly expanded options for creating, storing, and playing multi-song playlists now, to the point where this is by far the easiest way to navigate and manage the game (annoyingly if you choose to play a single song when you finish, you default back up to the top of the list when you go to pick the next song). I only glanced quickly at the system for making the playlists but hte key features are that playlists can be up to 128 songs now, and can be saved and loaded, and most interestingly to me is the option to shuffle a created playlist (randomize the song order). I sadly did not see the option to add a random song to a list, and htere is no topline option to just quickplay a completely random playlist (akin to mystery setlist in RB). However when i talked to Brian Bright about this lack towards the end of the event, he pointed out that if you wanted to play a mystery setlist what you could do is make a very large playlist (with effectively say every song you might want ot play on it) and save it, and then right befor eplaying it shuffle it, to simulate a mystery list.
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Drums 'N' Guitars
Drums 'N' Guitars
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As far as the song go, I ended up playing the hardest guitar songs the most since that is my area of interest, but I did get some drums and even bass in. I distinctly remember seeing that Rush's "The Spirit of Radio (Live)" at the bottom of the Guitar Intensity list, but I would have to disagree with that placement, Jeff Beck's "Scatterbrain (Live)" kicks all sorts of ass over "The Spirit of Radio (Live)". The opening riff for "The Spirit of Radio (Live)" is played often and can be challenging, but I don't think it is as hard as the majority of "Scatterbrain (Live)", that song is just plain crazy and goes all over the place. The entire keyboard section is charted to the guitar's tap notes and is a blast to play, hard but not as difficult as the main riff so it is a complete joy to hit. Speaking of which, tap notes are no longer tethered by string and seem to work correctly (though I honestly never encountered people's complaints with tap notes). "The Spirit of Radio (Live)" on bass is one of the easiest Rush songs I've ever played on bass ("Closer to the Heart" probably the only one that is easier), even with the open notes, but the rest of the instruments more than pick up the slack.

On guitar, I don't see any songs tripping me up or being terribly difficult to 5 star (for reference, I can't pass "Through the Fire and Flames" and have trouble with "Satch Boogie"), so that might be a big turn off for most of you inhuman players out there, but with the inclusion of hundreds of songs not on the disc, I'm sure you can find something you like.

Drummerville
Drummerville
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Drums are still fun to play, so I suppose that's a good sign. Our resident drum pro Phr34k was on hand to show everyone how it is done and he was delightfully surprised at how good everything felt. He says that drum activations, still done by hitting the cymbals, "aren't balls to activate on" anymore. Neversoft played with some different ways to activate, including just hitting the blue pad when a blue note wasn't present, but decided to stick with the old method as to not confuse anyone. Phr34k didn't get a chance to try out the hardest songs but he enjoyed playing drums with Guitar Hero 5 much more than he ever did with World Tour. Also, heads up, rumor has it that resident Neversoft drums pro Andy Gentile couldn't pass "Scatterbrain (Live)" after multiple attempts, so good luck with that one.


Play YOUR Way!


Playing any and every instrument combination is cool, you don't have to worry about always getting stuck with bass when playing online with a bunch of douche bags, so that is nice. I have no idea how ScoreHero is going to support tracking for all the different combination, I'll leave that to the smart people on the staff, we'll figure something out I'm sure so don't worry. Four different people playing drums on the same song is fun, but can have some unexpected occurrences. For example, I was playing a song and Barfo wanted to join in, no problem right? He plugged in a new drum set and we began playing a two piece drum band, everything seemed alright until Barfo started to notice that he was missing notes for no reason. So he stopped playing a lo and behold, his kit was picking up my hits, and I don't mean just a little bit, it was like I was playing on two kits at the same time. Every single hit on my kit, no matter which pad or how soft the hit, would register on his kit as well. There was some major cross talk going on and we didn't quite know how to fix it, though it was cool to be able to play two kits from one like that. Will this be a major problem with people playing more than one drum set on the same xbox? Time will tell, though it did seem to be just this one instance, other multi-drum setups didn't have this problem and worked as expected.

Barfo Sez... Band Multipliersize>

I got a chance while playing ot watch what was going on with the band multiplier, and based on what i saw, what i can say is that the top scores for band play are going to be very huge. Even in a duo setup, the amount of points you can earn is much much more than just simply double the single player optimum. From some quick calculations, i took some reasonable assumptions. Take a song with 100k base score, and assume that on optimum FC you can get 21% of the points under star power, this would give a single player a avg multi of 4.84x (ie 7.5 stars) with FC score of 484k, which is a conservative estimate, we are ignoring the combo ramp up at the start as insignificant. Now if you add a second player on the same instrument who is also going to FC and if you overlap activations etc, as well as toss in the stipulation that they shoudl be able to get 8% of the points under band moments (half of that also overlapped with SP), then you get a score of 2.7M, a 5.6-fold increase in score (+180% efficiency bonus compared ot just adding hte two scores separately together). 3 players gives estimate of 6.1M (+324% eff bonus compared to separate single players). 4 players gives 8.2M (326% more efficient than separate). Any song which has an optimum single player score of about 580k at 7.5 stars, *should* be possible to get 10 million (!!!) on with a 4 player run on that instrument.

The way this develops is that there are three separate things that affect your overall band multiplier (which multiplies everyone's score on top of their own individual multipliers). First off, band streaks have been retooled so they affect your band multiplier directly (rather than those confusing popups in WT). The wya it works is that any time n players all have a 4x combo, you get a bonus of plus (n-1) to the band multiplier. So if two players both have combo the entire band plays at 2x multi, if all four people have combo then the band multi sits at 4x as long as they are FCing it. Thus for example two players FCing a song, even if they never use SP, will be playing effectively the whole song (after the 30th note) at individual multipliers of effectively 8x, ie scoring as much as a single player would if he had SP up for hte whole song. Overlapping SP is the second way to add to the band multi. I;m not 100% on this but the way i am fairly sure it works is that everyone who activates SP their individual multi goes to 8x as long as it is active. In addition anytime two or more people have SP up at a time, the whole band multiplier goes up by the number of people with SP up at that time (you dont seem to get a +1 band multi for only one person SP up). So if you have two people comboing the song and they both activate SP at the same time, then the band multiplier for them is 4x (1 plus 1 for combo streak plus 2 for SP overlap). Rmemeber that since they have SP up they are each getting an additional 2x since their displayed multiplier will be 8x, so two people overlapping SP will be each earning an effective 32x (8 times 4) for each note they hit (thats 1600 per regular single note on guitar/bass). This is how hte score can get so insane.

The band moments also add to the multiplier, and offer further bonus points. The way those seem to work is that htey are charted into the songs at defined points in a way similar to how SP is, but separate system(with a special 'on flame' effect). It seems that if everybody in the band hits their entire band moment, then the screen flashes orange and for a period of time you get a bonus to your band multiplier equal to number of people in band minus one. But if anybody misses, no bonus. So if you have two people then you get a +1 form the band moment, whereas if you have four and they all hit it you get +3, but if only two hit it in a four player situation you get nothing (not +1 as you would if you were playing with only those two people). There appear to be only a few band moments per song, about 1-2 id say. The most i saw was the frampton song (which is 13 minutes long) i think there were about four in that.
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Getting Under the Hood!


Band Moments
Band Moments
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Revival System
Revival System
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There have been a lot of tweaks under the hood, the sum of which I can say makes the engine not feel as loose anymore. I really don't know how to explain it, but the engine just plain feels good, much better than any other Neversoft Guitar Hero game in my opinion. Playing as a band no longer feels broken thanks to the segregation of all the systems we're used to, no more do you have to worry about someone 'stealing' your star power. A full band will still be playing together though, band multipliers abound and special "Band Moments" will pull everyone together for major score increases. If a member fails out, the rest of the band can now bring them back in simply by playing well. This means that you can literally fail and be brought back almost instantly; however, this also means that you can't nurse a sucky band mate through the song as easily as you can in Rock Band by waiting until the last moment to bring them back in. From what we could tell, the same member could fail out as many times as possible and still be brought back, supposedly it will get harder and harder to bring the same failing member back. It didn't quite work that way when we were playing though, we didn't have any trouble bringing a failing member back more than 4 times and at a point during a song, two band members up and left and the remaining two didn't have any trouble finishing the song.

Barfo Sez... Revival Systemsize>

I saw several examples firsthand of the failure/revival system. In one case i was on drums on expert and Frankie chose "Dueling Banjos" off the setlist, so i gamely did my best to get through this chart. I failed i think about 3-4 times throught hat whole song and Frankie and carrot who were on guitar and hard drums respectively, brought me back within seconds in all those cases. IN another case, i was playing on guitar with some guy form the press (also on guitar, on medium), and another person walked up and wanted to join in on drums (she had never played before). She set the dif to easy and she was very game, but she failed out id say about 8-9 times over the course of the song. It was a fairly easy guitar song (id say middle tier at most), and i was basically runnign an easy combo every time the drums failed, and the revival meter filled up very fast every time, id say within two seconds or less at the start, and i was not noticing it actualyl really getting much more tough to revive, maybe by the end it would take 3-4 seconds to fill up the meter? im not even sure of that. The individual rock meters are in a very easy to see place, and it is much improved system compared to GHWT, it is much easier to see exactly what is goign on and you can easiyl tell when one person fails out.

In terms of tuning the revival system it seems like it is goign to be very lenient, it seems very much like if the other intruments are hitting all of their notes they will revive almost without trying, and its not clear how many times you might have ot fail to actually get to a part wher eyour bandmates would have to struggle to revive you (if it got to that point it might be frustrating however so i can see why its dont the way it is, perhaps). The place where i think bands are goign to fail, if they do is, for songs where it gets tough on mulitple instruments simultaneously but i did not get a chance really see this in action (carrot and frnakie were rocking the dueling banjos way too well)
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What Career?!


Gig Info
Gig Info
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Career mode was something that we didn't really get to spend a lot of time with, and the time I did spend with it had a kick pedal that registered two for every one hit, so I didn't play long. The new challenges are all well and known already, with different levels that are somehow separate from the normal star rating system, so I won't talk about them. At first glance, the career progression doesn't seem as annoying as it did in World Tour, but that could change once I have more time with it. It is also now known that all 85 songs will be unlocked for quickplay as soon as you start the game, the unlocking of songs typically being the entire point behind playing a career, what point is there in playing Guitar Hero 5's career now? Word is, there will be plenty to unlock, including clothes and instruments (and the occasional Achievement or Trophy I'm sure) so I suppose that isn't something to worry about, I'm also optimistic that the challenges will provide some fun depth to the career mode, yet another reason to grind the same song over and over again (though I don't think the top tier challenges will be anything like the challenge of getting and maintaining a first place score on the ScoreHero leaderboards).

Barfo Sez... Career Tidbitssize>

The environment of the press event was very not conducive to career mode, as all the stations had nothing unlocked, the stations were not sound segregated at all (i could barely hear most of what i was playing all night), and people were jumping in and out of stations and moving around. Still i manaeged to see probably more htan many others about career mode, so ill report back what (little) i did see. Career opened with a movie, it loks like a direct continuation of the GHWT story, i only watched part of it. From there Career seems to be set up in a GHM style way, you start with one venue unlocked and it looks like after certain levels of stars you will unlock more venues. However it seems a bit more complex, each song in career has also a challenge associated with it, the challengees beign one of five instrument categories: vox, gtr, bass, durms, or band (challenge type displayed by standard icons).

When i started career up there were five songs unlocked, one each with each type of challenge, but in addition, there seemed to be more songs in that venue that i still had to unlock (or maybe these were sponsor challenges im not sure). So hopefully its not as linear as the GHM career, where you would unlock all songs in a venue, play a couple of them and then go onto the next venue - it seems like it is possible at least htat you might unlock the next venue before you unlock every song in that venue, and have the choice ot stay and try and fully unlock that venue, or move on to the new one. Because everything was locked i did not get to see how the DLC and exported songs will integrate into the career mode (even on the station that had all the DLC installed in QP, noone of it started out unlocked or visible in career). The challenges themselves are well covered in the GHDev blogs, but i did try the first venue drums challenge and ill relate that story.

I forget the song but the challenge was to hit as many snares (red pad) as possible in the song (gold level was 200 hits, plat was 245, diamond 265 - numbers from memory could be wrong). I was playing on expert the song was fairly easy (as befits an opening venue song) but fairly fun on drums. A little 'gold record' icon is to the left of your fretboard, and fills up in a radial manner as you get closer to each level (ie once you fill up gold, it now starts to fill up with platinum, etc). I played the drum song really quite well and i missed maybe one or two snares total, and i got exactly the diamond challenge complete on the very last snare hit of the song. So the diamond challenge for at least htat song pretty much required a near 100% of at least the reds in that song, on expert (id guess that on lower level there wouldnt be enough reds to get 265), and this is an opening tier song. This too me implies that many of these challenges at least at the diamond level are going to be fairly tricky to get, and require mastery of the songs. Plus since they are evenly distributed about instruments, if you want to tryly max out the career mode stars (the challenge levels give an addiitonal up to 3 stars on top of the 5 stars you get form score - not clear if it has to be in same run), you will need to be an accomplished multi-instrumentalist.
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Band Lobbies Are Cool!


The new Band Lobby (a lot more 'new' things to talk about than I originally anticipated) is a welcome addition, there are a lot more options available to each player this time around that won't inconvenience the rest of the band as much. Both the Extras and Options menus can be accessed by each player to tweak the game to their individual play style, like Hyperspeed 0 - 5, instrument and difficulty, lefty flip and avatar choices. You may have noticed the word "Hyperspeed" in a sentence noticeably lacking of the word "Cheats", that's right it only took 4 main games and a handful of spin-offs to get Hyperspeed officially removed from the Cheats menu, it now resides in the Extras menu next to something called "Focus Mode". The general idea is that anything in the Extras menu will not disable any other features, like leaderboards and online play, while things in the Cheats menu will. This ought to put an end to ScoreHero's first big argument once and for all.


Focus Mode? Hell YEAH!


Shirley Manson
Shirley Manson
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So what exactly is Focus Mode you ask? Well, it is basically a reverse Performance Mode, only the fretboard and notes (plus any required GUI elements like Star Power and score) is rendered, the characters dancing around on stage in time with all of the pretty lights will be replaced with a nice all black background instead. We expect this way of playing to become standard among the top-tier players. Another annoyance of most players, the overly bright and distracting fretboard artwork is now, for the most part, completely gone. No more will you choose your character based on their fretboard because all of them are more or less black with a bit of texture to it. We aren't sure if it is like this for all characters, but I don't recall seeing a fretboard with actual artwork on it the entire time I played, so that must be a good sign.

Barfo Sez... Custom Bandsize>

One thing that might not be obvious about the band lobby is that the whole game seems to be given a front end redesign (compared to GHWT, GHM, etc) with the lobby replacing the acutal main menus, and with every action you'd ever want to do (except picking a song / playlist, which occurs on the next screen after the lobby) available on it, and for each player simultaneously using inline menus. Under your character you see a list of options, for people in the band, you get option to change your character to any presets, or previously created characters, you can access the extras menu, or the cheats menu. Theres a line for changing your difficulty, and your instrument, lefty flip etc, bascially everything that used to be on the main menu is now in here, and accessible by each player in most cases simultaneously (im pretty sure only one person can bring up the rock star creator at a time).

The band leader in addition gets to see the options for picking the type of mode (career, quickplay, competitive), venue in quickplay (i think?), the option to start the game once everybody is ready, and finally an option to edit characters for the computer controlled members of your band. The band lobby always displays all four slots of your band, and for any that have no human players signed in you see a computer stand-in. However waht you can do is navigate over to the computer controlled slots and change all the options on the character there as if it was your character (you dont get to do gameplay options like diff, hyper, etc of course, as these cahracters arent really 'playing' its display purposes only). I looked very quickly at the options and you can set any preset characters (judy/pandora/etc), including alternate costumes and instruments, or you can assign any create a rocker players you may have made, or you can assign an avatar to that spot. Thus it seems you now in every mode (since hte band lobby is common to all modes be htey quickplay or career) can play easily with a completely custom band (no random band stand ins ruining your bands look) even when you are playing solo.

Anothe rintersting thing to note is that if you select avatar, you are able to choose either your gametag's avatar or you can go to a 'avatar editor' that lets you setup a random avatar, or edit one from scratch to play in your band. Im not super fluent in all the options that you get for xbox avatars, but the bit of editor i saw i think is fully featured. So the custom band options are fairly endless: you could make a four piece band of all custom characters whom you have intricately designed and kitted out, you could have your xbox live avatar front a band of three other random avatars, you could just pick a band of all your favourite girl preset characters, you could play a band of all real celebrity characters, or you can mix and match and combination. I didnt check but i expect that it will save your loadout so that when you come back you dont need to re-select all of it, or at any time just by backing up one screen from the song selection menu you can change any of the characters.
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Wrap It Up!


Avatars do Rock!
Avatars do Rock!
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Other odds and ends before wrapping this up; playing with Xbox avatars is neat, I never did anything to my avatar (and don't intend to) so it was a nice bonus to see the option to automatically generate a random avatar. I don't remember it being that easy when setting up the NXE.

In the end, Guitar Hero 5 is a major step up from World Tour in just about every way (and with the importing of songs, it really doesn't have anything over it). Neversoft is doing something different with the Guitar Hero series and taking it in the opposite direction from those other rhythm games on the market, making it a unique experience with enough features packed in that everyone can find something they like. Barfo is still a beast, FrankieB no longer looks like a giant marshmallow (though he is a sweet hat), Sluggo cut off all his hair and Phr34k is still sexy.

- ImaCarrot
08.11.2009

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